Oh Captain My Captain – SHAZBAT – Robin Williams 1951 to 2014
Words cannot express my personal feelings of sadness and loss. I’ve never personally known the man but through his humor and the way he could make me laugh like no other comedian could and I felt a connection. My first encounter with Robin Williams was via Mork & Mindy (1978–1982) T.V. show. It was one of the shows our whole family could watch and laugh and enjoy.
I sat for a while watching all the videos and coverage about Robin Williams and I was getting emotional. Today of all days too, I was interviewed by a local newspaper about our county’s high suicide rate. I talked to the reporter for over an hour and half about my brush with death, the need for education and suicide prevention. I also made the point that people don’t “commit suicide”… ” illnesses were in control”… it was “the illness that killed them.”
When Gabe Howard, a motivational speaker, award-winning advocate, mental illness blogger and writer, as well a person living with severe bipolar and anxiety disorders was asked by one of his readers about this subject, he gave, what I believe to be the best reply to the “commit suicide” term, he said:
“The mentally ill do not “commit” suicide. It makes it sound like they did it on purpose or that they had a say in the matter. But they don’t, really. Their illnesses were in control.
The entire concept of “committing” suicide, as it relates to mental illness, is nothing short of tragedy. Your son died by suicide. More specifically, he died from his mental illness, which caused him so much torment and suffering that he ultimately succumbed to it. It was not his fault, nor was it his desire. Most importantly, it wasn’t his choice.
Your son didn’t kill himself; the illness killed him.” – Gabe Howard
If you think suicide is a choice, you’re wrong – it’s a deadly side effect of extreme emotional and psychological distress. Given the choice, being balanced with medication if needed and therapy), having the right support and talking to someone – professional – family – friend many times lowers suicidal behavior risk factors. Yet, even when you think all is well, when you know some one is dealing with depression, there is always a higher risk factor. Does not matter if poor or rich… have the best insurance or have none, have tons of friends or a lot of people just around…ultimately some will succumbed to the illness. That is what has happened with Robin Williams. He succumbed to depression and it took his life. I’m sure he would have 10 jokes he could make about that, but it’s true.
“He has been battling severe depression of late,” his media representative Mara Buxbaum told CNN. “This is a tragic and sudden loss. The family respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this very difficult time.” http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/11/showbiz/robin-williams-dead/
I could not be more stunned by the loss of Robin Williams, mensch, great talent, acting partner, genuine soul.
— Steve Martin (@SteveMartinToGo) August 11, 2014
Robin Williams, Bipolar Sufferer, Dead at 63 Due to Suicide By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. in World of Psychology
Editorial note: We acknowledge Williams himself has never stated, to our knowledge, that he had been formally diagnosed with bipolar disorder or depression. Yet given his behaviors and symptoms, it seems far more likely he suffered from bipolar disorder — of which depression is a very significant component. News accounts saying he suffered from depression don’t appear to be substantiated by Williams’ own statements on the issue.
Robin Williams, Creativity & Mental Illness By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. in World of Psychology
The Comedic Mask of Depression By John D. Moore, PhD in Reaching Life Goals
Goodbye Mr. Williams By Kelly Babcock in ADHD Man of Distraction
RIP Robin Williams By Laura Bzowy in Celebrity Psychings
Robin Williams: A Devastating Loss By Richard Taite in The Science of Addiction
Mourning Robin Williams: The Tragedy of Suicide By Jenise Harmon, MSW, LISW in Sorting Out Your Life
Robin Williams: Celebrity vs non-celebrity suicid By Christine Stapleton in Depression on My Mind
How Robin Williams is like Elaina J (trigger warning) By Elaina J. Martin in Being Beautifully Bipolar
Robin Williams’ Depression and Suicide By Tom Wootton in Bipolar Advantage
Robin Williams’ Death Shocking? Yes and No By Zoë Kessler, BA, B.Ed. in ADHD from A to Zoë
Dear Robin Williams By Julie Fidler in Amazed by Grace
Privacy Is Needed For Grieving Families By Laura Bzowy in Celebrity Psychings
Stewart, C. (2014). Oh Captain My Captain – SHAZBAT – Robin Williams 1951 to 2014. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 21, 2015, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/humor/2014/08/oh-captain-my-captain-shazbat-robin-williams-1951-to-2014/